Seventeen curatorial departments study, exhibit, and care for the objects in The Met collection.
Ever since its establishment in 1870 the Museum has acquired important examples of American Art. A separate "American Wing" building to display the domestic arts of the 17th–early 19th centuries opened in 1924.
The principal goals of the Arms and Armor Department are to collect, preserve, research, publish, and exhibit distinguished examples representing the art of the armorer, swordsmith, and gunmaker.
The collection of Asian art at The Met—more than 35,000 objects, ranging in date from the third millennium B.C. to the 21st century—is one of the largest and is the most comprehensive in the West.
The Met's collection of drawings and prints—one of the most comprehensive and distinguished of its kind in the world—began with a gift of 670 works from Cornelius Vanderbilt, a Museum trustee, in 1880.
The Met's world-famed collection of European paintings encompasses works of art from the 13th through the 19th centuries—from Giotto to Gauguin. Most, though not all, are displayed in the galleries of the Department of European Paintings.
The Museum's collection of Greek and Roman art comprises more than 17,000 works ranging in date from the Neolithic period (ca. 4500 B.C.) to the time of the Roman emperor Constantine's conversion to Christianity in A.D. 312.
The Robert Lehman Collection is one of the most distinguished privately assembled art collections in the United States. Robert Lehman's bequest to The Met is a remarkable example of 20th-century American collecting.
The Met has collected and exhibited work by living artists since its founding in 1870. Today, the department's holdings comprise more than 12,000 works of art across a broad range of media from 1900 to the present.